National Gallery of Art

Here you can see the US's only Leonardo da Vinci painting, Ginevra, along with the world's top traveling exhibitions.  Every American owns an equal share of the art here, which may well prompt a burst of patriotic pride.


Vision   When Andrew Mellon was secretary of the treasury (1921 - 32) he realized that the capital city lacked a great gallery illustrating the development of Western art.  so when he died in 1937, he left an endowment and his renowned collection of paintings and sculpture to the American people, and passed on his dream to his son.  Paul Mellon oversaw the construction of John Russell Pope's classical building, opened in 1941, and eventually of I. M. Pei's stunning East Wing, opened in 1978, perhaps the finest modern building in the US.


Western art   The permanent collection includes Renaissance painting, with works by Italian masters Raphael and Titian, Spanish painters Velasquez, El Greco, an Goya, as well as Flemish, German, and  Dutch paintings from van der Weyden and Durer to Rubens and Vermeer.  The French are well represented by Watteau, Corot, Manet, Renoir, and all the Impressionists.  Works by William Hogarth begin the tour of Brithis painting, from Gainsborough to Turner.  American painting is represented by Gilbert, Stuart, Winslow Homer, James McNeill Whistler and others.  Outside is a sculpture garden, opened in 1999, includes works by Roy Lichtenstein and Claes Oldenburg, and a huge bronze spider by Louise Bourgeois!

The West Wing associated with Western Art!

This is the East Wing - The Building is a Work of Modern Art in Itself!


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